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Madhubani Painting

Mithila, a region in the state of Bihar, Northern India (and also stretching into Nepal), has an important tradition of knowledge in the form of paintings. Madhubani paintings (also known as Mithila paintings) have been practiced by the women of the region through the centuries and today it is considered as a living tradition of Mithila. The art not only depicts the social structure but also the cultural identity of the land with its depiction of themes of religion, love, and fertility. It reflects the morals, values and customs of the region in a very interesting way. This age-old art is achieved by the use of fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens, and matchsticks, using natural dyes and pigments, and is characterized by eye-catching geometrical patterns. The skills of Madhubani Art have been passed on from generation to generation and the artisans have kept the traditional content and style still alive. Artisans decorate Madhubani paintings in two styles, linework and colourful. The linework style is known as ‘Kachni’ and the colourful style is known as ‘Bharani’. Paintings were traditionally done on freshly made mud walls and floor huts, now they are also done on cloth, handmade khadi sheets, and canvas. Madhubani Paintings use two-dimensional imagery, and the source of the colours used in the painting is nature. The Madhubani Painting has received Geographical Indication status.